Despite the silence, two were awake. Two who had searched for one another throughout the stars, before either had known the other existed. When they had finally met, he had been standoffish and she had been eager to get to know the stranger in gray and red who had captivated her heart and soul from that first meeting.
Andros stood just outside the door to Ashley's room and raised his hand to tap on it. Then he lowered it again. He wanted to talk to her, wanted to give some sort of hint that he loved her. To say the words that he had longed for since seeing her. How did she get into my heart so fast? I thought no one could after I lost Zhane and Karone. But she was right in there thirty seconds after we met. I didn't want to love someone...but I think I already did.
He lifted his hand one more time, fully intending to go through with the knock, only to have the door slide open and the Yellow Ranger stood there. Ashley's eyes went wide. "Andros?"
"Uhh...hi." He smiled briefly at her, and her entire face lit up with her returning smile. "I...I've been wanting to talk to you."
She lifted one eyebrow. "What about?"
"I was wondering if you wanted to go to the Simudeck with me? I've...I've got something I want to show you there." Andros tried not to hint that he'd spent almost three days setting up that particular holo-setting. He wanted it to be perfect. Just like she was.
Ashley smiled. "All right." She was perfectly willing to go anywhere with him. They had survived the Countdown and they were together. He had told them his home was with them, and that meant they were to be together. Hand in hand, the two of them headed for the Simudeck.
"DECA, begin program FH-1," he ordered. There was a flicker just barely visible behind the doors, then they slid open. Stretching out beyond them was a night-time meadow, with unfamiliar constellations rising over the field, and a silvery moon spilled light over the entire scene. Ashley stared, not noticing as the doors slid shut behind them.
She turned briefly to Andros and smiled. "This is beautiful!! What is it?"
"On KO-35, whenever someone loves someone else, they bring them to the most beautiful place they know to tell them that," Andros said softly. "This glade was destroyed in the attack on K0-35 two years ago, and still hasn't grown back yet. But it's still the most beautiful place I know." He took a deep breath, looking at her and taking her hand. "Ashley Hammond, could I have this dance?" As he uttered the words, music began to play, and he bent down for a moment to pluck an extremely realistic looking flower. As he slowly wove it into her hair, Ashley smiled.
We're all together at last. Karone is back. Zhane is back to stay with us. We got a message from Phantom that he'll be waiting for us on Earth, and whatever it is that he told Cassie privately has had her on air for the last day and a half. She knew Carlos and T.J. would also be looking forward to seeing the girlfriends they'd left behind months earlier. Being Rangers didn't give you that much of a chance for a social life with a non-Ranger, but those two had been doing fairly decently at it.
Ashley smiled as she leaned her head against Andros' shoulder and just drank in the beauty of it all. His two-toned hair, his enormous strength, and the fact that he was hers just as completely as she was his.
The music that played was unfamiliar to her, but it appeared to be a lovesong of some sort. She wouldn't be all that surprised if it was some traditional melody of KO-35. Andros was like that sometimes, doing something beautiful from his homeworld to show her just how fantastic it was. She had done the same thing, showing him things of her world. What mattered to them, however, was not the world they lived on, but the fact that they were together, wherever they went.
Their love was the most important thing in the universe to them. In any universe.
She looked up as she heard his voice whispering softly. "Ashley..." he looked down at her tenderly. "Ashley...I love you."
Her heart lit on fire at the very sound of the words and she gazed into his eyes with the love that filled her soul. "I love you too, Andros. I love you too."